Ag & commerce leaders warn of possible pork shortage for California under Prop 12

A California economist is concerned about the price and availability of pork in his state once Proposition 12 is implemented next year. 

Lon Hatamiya is a private consultant and a former Secretary of Technology, Trade, and Commerce in California.  He analyzed a university report from Dr. Glynn Tonsor from Kansas State and Jayson Lusk from Purdue.  Hatamiya says he agrees with their assessment that Proposition 12 will result in greater consumer prices and lower pork demand. “A 50% increase in pork prices in Los Angeles will cause a 91% decrease in demand. A 50% increase in the price in Sacramento, an 80% decrease in demand.”

Rachel Michelin with the California Food Retailers Association is concerned about the impact on both consumers and small businesses. “We want to make sure that all retailers particularly our smaller retailers have access to pork products, and we want to make sure that consumers, you know, sometimes we think about these issues and we think about these regulations and we forget the end, and the end are the consumers of California.”

Prices are expected to jump on January 1st when most U.S. produced pork will be illegal to sell in California unless producers shipping to California comply with the Farm Animal Confinement Initiative also called Proposition 12.  The Food Equity Alliance is asking California’s Governor for relief, calling the timeline “unworkable” since the guidelines for the producers were just recently released.

Rabobank has also predicted a 50% reduction in California’s pork supply once Proposition 12 goes into effect.

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